Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Full Time
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Section Head, HPC Operations


We are seeking a Section Head for HPC Operations in the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS). NCCS Provides state-of-the-art computational and data science infrastructure coupled with dedicated technical and scientific professionals tackling large-scale problems across a broad range of scientific domains for accelerating scientific discovery and engineering advances. NCCS hosts the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, one of DOE’s National User Facilities.

The Operations Section supports NCCS infrastructure users and acquaint the public with the work conducted at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility.  The groups within the Operations Section include:

System Acceptance and User Environment Group- ensures the functionality, performance, and usability of new NCCS systems which includes activities such as test development, acceptance, software installation, documentation, and early user support for all NCCS pre-production systems.

User Assistance Group- provides technical support, training, documentation and tools to users of the National Center for Computational Sciences for systems that have entered full user operations.

Software Services Development- develops and maintains large software applications and services used by the staff and end-users of the division’s computational ecosystem.

User Access, Outreach and Communications Groups- develops and maintains communication materials for use with and by the NCCS sponsors and program managers that showcase NCCS capabilities and user research accomplishments; provides access to NCCS resources and ensures compliance with DOE and ORNL regulations for access to NCCS resources.

Major Duties/Responsibilities: 


You will be responsible for planning and leading major technical projects, operations or functions to solve challenges for science and engineering. Your work directly impacts the present and future of the laboratory in significant ways.


Work closely with the NCCS Division Director and Group Leaders within the section to develop a vision and implement a strategy to pursue world-leading operations and/or technology directions for the section. Demonstrate cross-functional team leadership.
Support the NCCS Division Director in the operations of the division and represent the Director when the Director is not available.
Work with section Group Leaders to establish, communicate, and measure critical metrics for success and impact. Benchmark against the best in the world.
Actively contribute to shaping the division’s, directorate’s, and laboratory’s plans and investments.
Build strong teams by collaborating across ORNL and securing external expertise when needed. Leverage ORNL facilities and resources when developing new projects.
Work with the Group Leaders and the NCCS Division Director to assess and calibrate individual staff performance across the section.  Evaluate progress regularly, providing feedback and addressing performance issues in a timely manner.
Develop and implement Succession Planning with input from Group Leaders for all critical positions in the section to ensure future success.
Ensure groups are recruiting and hiring from a diverse pool of top candidates who are committed to world-class research and aspire to be the best in their field.  Approve job offers.
Drive staff promotions and development.
Address in a timely manner all concerns expressed by staff and any disciplinary actions.
Lead by example, using the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research and in dealing with others.
Employ best practices, such as holding regular meetings, being visible in the workplace, monitoring budgets, acknowledging sponsors, and adhering to ORNL business systems requirements regarding staff requests for foreign travel and submission of quality proposals.
Coach and mentor staff regarding Battelle’s “Safe Conduct of Research” principles and ensure all work is carried out safely, securely, and in compliance with ORNL policies, standards, and procedures.
Exemplify a commitment to “One ORNL” by modeling lab expectations for excellence in research, operations, and community engagement, and by working cooperatively to leverage capabilities across the lab.


Serve as direct supervisor for section Group Leaders.
Counsel/consult/mentor staff and transfer knowledge of specialized field(s) to a variety of staff, including senior staff.
Connect staff to your network.  Assist Group Leaders (and staff when appropriate) in setting long-term career goals.  Identify additional mentors as appropriate and engage senior staff to act in this capacity.
Be open and transparent in communicating information to your groups and communicate staff achievements and changes to stakeholders in a timely manner.
Work with Group Leaders to ensure staff are participating actively in professional service (e.g., engagement in professional societies, workshop and conference organization, peer review, advisory board membership, etc.).
Advocate for and support internal and external recognition of staff achievements.  Ensure the Section’s external professional presence is strong.
Ensure that staff manage their projects effectively to deliver results on scope, schedule, and budget while meeting technical and business expectations.
Effectively communicate the importance of protecting proprietary or sensitive information and complying with ORNL security and cybersecurity policies and guidelines.
Recognize and support the contributions and responsibilities of Group Leaders and Laboratory Space Managers to lab safety.

Basic Qualifications:

Requires a Ph.D. with a minimum of 7 years relevant experience, a M.S. with a minimum of 10 years relevant experience, or a B.S. with 12 years relevant experience.
Demonstrated experience in leading technical teams.

Preferred Qualifications:

Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


To section staff, for the quality and safety of their work environment and opportunity for professional growth.
To organization managers, for world-leading technology directions, safe effective, and compliant operations, ownership of assigned staff, facilities, and equipment, and the quality of products and services.
To customer, for the quality of products and service.


Implement a strategy to pursue world-leading technology directions for the section.
Hold staff accountable for performance.
Act to ensure safe and effective operations.
Hire staff group leaders and staff as appropriate.
Certify the technical quality of products and services.

Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.

Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.

If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.